Fatigue, Body Temperature and Thyroid Disease

“I can’t believe how well I feel, and neither can my husband. Four months ago I would come home from work and collapse, exhausted. Nothing helped my energy. And now I have energy to spare! Most of the other symptoms that have plagued me for years are gone.”

Jana and her husband had been trying to solve her fatigue for 6 years. She was 31 years old with a 15 month old child and was working full time. Two and a half years ago her endocrinologist had diagnosed Hashimoto’s disease, an inflammatory condition of the thyroid gland. Initial treatment with T4 hormone (Synthroid) had made a difference, but after a month of mild improvement, her fatigue returned.

Her endocrinologist increased her dose gradually over the next 2 1/2 years, from 25 mcg to 125 mcg. Her laboratory results were normal, yet in spite of the increase in dose, the exhaustion would overtake her again. She pushed herself with hardcore aerobic exercise classes, but she still never felt well. She napped during her lunch hour, fell into bed exhausted in the evenings and spent weekends sleeping, yet nothing relieved her fatigue.
Jana’s oral body temperature averaged 97.8 degrees F, almost 1 degree under the normal 98.6 degrees F, despite taking 125 mcg of T4. Something wasn’t working.

Over the last 35+ years I have identified and completed treatment with over 300+ patients with symptoms similar to Jana’s who have met the criteria for Wilson’s Syndrome, a condition in which people have trouble converting the thyroid hormone T4 into T3, the active form of the hormone that the body uses. Without adequate T3, the symptoms of hypothyroidism set in. Every enzyme in every cell malfunctions, and in turn problems occur in all organ systems. In fact, Multiple Endocrine Dysfunction Syndrome is the other name for Wilson’s Syndrome.

But why had her endocrinologist not recognized that T3 was deficient? It turns out that the common TSH test used to monitor thyroid therapy does not test for a lack of T3 conversion, and can be normal in spite of cellular hypothyroidism.

Four months after starting T3 therapy, Jana was a changed person. She felt steady physically and emotionally. She was no longer depressed or irritable. She slept well and woke rested. Her temperature returned to  normal and she no longer felt cold all the time. Her constipation and irritable bowel symptoms cleared. Her memory and ability to focus returned. The dry itchiness of her skin went away, and her nails were growing strong. And best of all, she had none of the fatigue that had kept her out of touch with her family and friends. She actually cannot remember ever feeling this well.

As for the other 300+patients who have completed this therapy, about 40% of them have had dramatic benefits, just as in Jana’s case. Another20% have shown benefit that is gradual and promising. The other 40% have either no improvement or have discontinued T3 therapy. Other cases are in progress. If you are interested in being screened for this condition, please contact the Center.

 

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